Wrestler of the Week – John Cena
Cena has been called many things over his run at the top of WWE for the last decade, but he has rarely been the company’s workhorse mechanic. With Daniel Bryan banged up and few other top faces ready to help carry the water at the highest level, Cena has put on one good match after another since Wrestlemania as part of his U.S. Title Open Challenge. On top of that, Cena carried Bryan in a tag team match against Cesaro and Tyson Kidd last week while Bryan continued to suffer from his lingering injuries. His Open Challenge match with Kane on Monday was just another Cena-Kane match, but it was the latest in a surprisingly long line of consistently good matches. Cena deserves recognition for how much he has done since Wrestlemania.
Match of the Week – Sami Zayn def. Rhyno
Zayn’s return to the ring on last week’s episode of NXT was a bit of a head scratcher. Zayn has worked fantastic matches with expert wrestlers like Cesaro, Kevin Owens, and Neville, but it’s quite another task to main event a show against someone who specializes- almost exclusively- in squash wins. Zayn managed to weave a compelling narrative in his match with Rhyno and stretched it out into a much longer match than we usually see from the big man. In the end, Zayn dodged the Gore and hit his Helluva Kick for an impressive win that places him right back at the top of the heap of challengers for the NXT Title.
Quote of the Week – Seth Rollins
“How did you hear about that? That was supposed to be private!” Art imitates life for Rollins, whose “private conversation” with HHH ended up on social media the same way that his “private photos” with his fiancée did.
Must See Wrestling
- Randy Orton Builds Momentum toward Extreme Rules
With the RKO banned as one of the numerous stipulations in his match with Seth Rollins, Orton decided to get the move out of his system before Sunday. In a move reminiscent of Steve Austin in 1997, Orton ran wild through the arena in Albany and hit five RKOs through the night, the last of which was on Rollins as he fell from the wall of a cage. Orton stands little chance of winning at Extreme Rules, but between his anarchic persona, Rollins’s outstanding heel work, and Kane’s surprisingly interesting role as a gatekeeper having a career crisis, the main event looks very entertaining.
- Hardys Win TNA Gold
Last week’s Impact revolved around the Tag Team Titles that were vacated when The Wolves went down with an injury. Because the Tag Team Titles occupy a more meaningful place on the TNA card, the Ultimate X match and the four qualifiers for it were a great use of the episode. The Hardys beat out Austin Aries & Bobby Roode, Kenny King & Low Ki, and Bram & EC3 to capture their first TNA Tag Team Titles. The five total matches were enjoyable and the Hardys have the star power to reinvigorate the tag division.
- ROH Challengers Emerge
After Jay Briscoe beat Tommaso Ciampa, Hanson, and Michael Elgin in an uninspired 13th Anniversary Show main event, the top of the ROH card looked hazy at best. Part-timers like Samoa Joe and AJ Styles could only serve as viable interim challengers for so long, and even the great Adam Cole had seemingly exhausted his opportunities against Briscoe. Since then, Jay Lethal has turned his attention to the main event, Michael Elgin has steadily worked himself back on track, Kyle O’Reilly has hinted at a singles run, and even Donovan Dijak has shown his superstar upside. While ROH still has work to do, the potential for great main events is evident.